BlogRead the Latest News


A day of racing you shouldn’t miss!

Tomorrow we have the finale to the flat racing season and the curtain raiser to the flat season. How can you have both? Let me explain….

UK Racing – Ascot Champions Day

First, we have Qipco British Champions day at Ascot and it promises to be a real feast of racing. It may not be Royal Ascot but the racing on show tomorrow at Ascot racecourse is right up there in terms of quality.

Champions day only came into being in 2011 so it’s relatively new in the scheme of things but it’s a weekend I wouldn’t miss for anything now. It’s the last shot at a decent total before we descend into winter. The specific races existed before this meeting started but were brought together to bring in a real feast at the end of the season. It’s one of my highest turnover weekends of the year. Last year, the average turnover was over £2m per race and it’s gathering more momentum every year.

I did a video on this explaining why this weekend brings a great opportunity to turnover some huge amounts, but at relatively low risk. A slightly tongue in cheek title, but a good description of what you real objective is when trading.

Australian Racing – The Everest and Caulfield Cup

The Ascot meeting in the UK doesn’t have a Royal in the title, but it is one of the biggest days in the flat season.

Meanwhile, down under, we do have a Royal in the title, at Royal Randwick racecourse. Tomorrow morning we have the Everest. It’s got $15m in prize money so I’d imagine if you stacked that on top of each other it might be as high as Mount Everest!

It’s a monster of a race and today will be my traditional prep for the Melbourne Cup meeting. Learn a bit more about it here: –

Aussie racing is a bit more liquid at this time of the year, the Everest should approach somewhere near £1m in turnover. Talking about turnover, be aware that races in New South Wales are subject to the Australian turnover charge. A henius crime on punters in Australia. Betfair Australia, who do a great job of supporting the exchange, have explained it in more detail by clicking on this link.

While it’s an unwelcome charge, it does illustrate how the laffer curve works. Increased charges on races in New South Wales, has meant that most races in this territory have lagged behind growth elsehere. This means there is often a big gap on a like for like basis to other similar races in other territories, I can see it clearly in the data.

Obviously you wont see that in this race, but it’s now an every present reminder of the folly of increasing charges because you can. You may get away with it, but it costs you in the long term and often in ways you don’t know. Sorry for the economics lesson.

If you are an early riser then the fun starts at 02:15 in the morning UK time. The big race, however, is at a more realistic 06:15. So even if you struggle to get out of bed on a Saturday morning you may still stand a chance of catching some good quality Aussie group race.

But that is not all we have on the card as we also have the Caulfield cup, another huge race and this group 1 contest kicks off at the more reasonable time of 07:15 UK time. As the race takes place in the state of Victoria the turnover charge does not apply, so you can go hell for leather on this race; which is what I intend to do.

It’s a real cracker of a day and one that gets off to an early start. I’m looking forward to it!

The post A day of racing you shouldn’t miss! appeared first on Betfair trading blog | Expert advice from Professional Betfair trade.

Traders of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe

Once a year I will taste some betfair trading on French horse racing like a connoisseur tastes French wine, with a sense of appreciation but with the gusto of a true enthusiast.

French horse racing

On Friday, I traded the ‘evening’ racing at Moonee Valley in Australia and will return in the early hours of Saturday morning to have a look at some of the other group racing in Australia. It’s with a view to gearing up to the Melbourne Cup Carnival in November.

Over the course of the year, opportunities do pop up on other markets around key periods. Australian racing provides the broadest mix as from September to April where there is plenty of action on key days. Meydan kicks in during January and peaks in March, but just in front of us, we have a flurry of activity. We have group racing in Australia tomorrow and then as we head to the end of October we end up in the US for the breeder’s cup.

But on Sunday we have a higlight of the racing calendar taking place a little closer to home sores.

Longchamp – prix de l’arc de triomphe

I don’t tend to trade on Sunday’s, or on French racing, but the richest race in Europe always draws my attention as it and the companion races are nearly always an opportunity.

This weekend we see the two-day meeting at Longchamp.

Saturdays are intermingled with some quality in the UK, so don’t tend to yield that much. But on Sunday we have had the big stuff and that tends to trade fairly well. Most of the surrounding card in the UK is not the greatest quality on Sunday, so I’ll tend to do some other things, then trade the French racing in between that. I’ll keep my powder dry generally for the big race on Sunday and it will be pretty big.

Typically it’s pretty big in turnover terms and it will probably match over a million and is, therefore, a highlight within this part of the racing calendar. When you say ‘de l’arc de triomphe’ to me, Frankie Dettori seems to have been a permanent feature in my mind on this race, for good and bad reasons. Probably the most notorious moment is his career was being banned after a drug test at Longchamp in 2012, Solemia won the race that year. But he has won it twice since.

On Sunday he returns with red hot favourite Enable and that should ensure plenty of interest in the big race.

Betting exchanges are not legal in France

It’s worth having a look at the big race on Sunday and you may want to give it a try trading it’s not going to trade exactly the way you would expect it would do in the UK and you can have a very long period of money arriving. Of course, betting exchanges are not legal in France, there is no concept of sports exchanges overall. The state-owned PMU is typically the choice of French gamblers and France isn’t completely backwards as they do have some online betting. So you can find out more information online at which caters for English speakers.

WIth no full time betting exchange users, laying bets into the market is not possible, no Betfair trading software,  no betting exchange offers, no sports trading at all really and with no stock exchange for sports, traditional bookmakers can’t hedge into the market either. So the behaviour of the market and the way that it’s shaped will be somewhat different to what you see when you are trading on Betfair in the UK. But all that to one side, it’s certainly worth a good look.

It’s also worth having a look at the races that lead up to the big race because they tend to start a bit earlier in the day. That will allow you to get a feel on how the race is likely to trade. I’ve done some really good results and in the past but it does vary from year to year so I will give the big one a fair go.

Good luck if you give them a go. I’ll be here be there on Sunday to see what I can squeeze out of the card.

Hippodrome Longchamp

The post Traders of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe appeared first on Betfair trading blog | Expert advice from Professional Betfair trade.

Newmarket Cambridgeshire Calamity

We are treated to plenty of good horse racing this weekend and the highlight will be the Newmarket Cambridgeshire meeting. I’ve picked off a few good Betfair trading results by from the Cambridgeshire in the past and hope to this weekend.

But I remember this race for several reasons. Big wins, a big loss and a public appearance.

The race

The Cambridgeshire is a very competitive large field handicap. It’s an impenetrable betting market, with a ton of horses competing head to head at the Newmarket Rowley mile each year. It’s a focal point at this time of year and followed by the Cesarewitch. As with all big, competitive, quality races; fill rate will be at the top of my mind. I’m not expecting a market moving gamble to explode out of nowhere, but you never know nowadays! But typically the price movement will be fairly limited. From a betting perspective, it’s a high-risk race, where a winner is difficult to pick. A simply lay bet would produce a decent chance of a result as it’s tough to know who will win, but you would have to do so at high risk as prices will be bit. Dutching by placing multiple bets it’s useful in this sort market.

The structure of the race should be familiar though and if you have seen these sorts of markets before you should know if you love or hate them and roughly how you would trade it. I tend to enjoy these big races as they give me the chance to really get stuck in with some decent stakes. The problem you face of course is that there can often be large amounts of money in the system and that means you may have to wait for ages for your order to fill and that will increase the risk on your trade. But as always my prefered method will be to trade pre race on a betting exchange using trading software and that will almost certainly get me a profit.

Races like this usually produce decent results, but I will remember this race forever for a disaster I had in 2011.

Betfair outage outrage

Back in 2011 as we approached the key race of the day people started posting in the forum about performance issues with Betfair, we have a specific thread for this.

Having done well on this race in the past, I was keen to press on but should have heeded the warnings as Betfair ground to an almost complete halt during the run-up to the race and stopped completely in-play. I was left hopelessly exposed.  Needless to say, the right horse didn’t win and I took a bit of a thumping. It was one of my biggest losses ever, I can’t remember exactly how much it was but it was a whopper. However, when you are a full time trader you need to prepare for anything and while it wasn’t pleasant I dealt with it and even despite this I finished up on the week.

The World money show – London

I went back to see if I had a screen-shot of the loss, but it looks like I didn’t archive it! Nothing like a bit of denial to overcome a thumping loss is there?

However, I did find some pictures and images from the same race from other years. It turns out that during this meeting in 2006 I attended the World Money show, a financial markets exhibition to talk about sports exchanges. I had half-forgotten about this, I remember doing it but had no idea it was during this meeting.

It was a joy to talk positively about my experience in sports markets, it just such a shame that this sort of thing rarely happens now.

On reflection, it appeared to be a heavy schedule of football and a big field/betting race that kicked off the crash. So I always keep an eye on these things now and will be well prepared. Hopefully, I can replicate some positive results from years prior, but this is one time I am not hoping for a repeat of a previous year, necessarily what happened in 2011!

The post Newmarket Cambridgeshire Calamity appeared first on Betfair trading blog | Expert advice from Professional Betfair trade.

How much do traders match in a horse race?

In early September there is a meeting at Salisbury, it’s feature race is the Dick Poole Filles stakes. This meeting has some significance for all traders.

Why it’s an important race

Way back in 2003 Betfair published information on a specific race. Betfair went full disclosure on the race. It listed all the market participants what they did, how much they did, how many accounts were active overall and similar information.

On seeing this publication I just realised that it gave me insight that may be useful then and in the future. I now use the data from back then and current data to look at subtle differences that now occur, how that affects the underlying market and what has changed since then.

Persistent biases

The most interesting thing is that most of what I discovered within that data, persists to this day. What I mean is, that the biases I see in the market are more or less similar as they were back in 2003. Obviously markets, their structure and participants change to a certain extent. But ultimately the biases inherent in that data more or less persist. This is interesting as it that implies that some of what goes on in the market are built into the psychology of the participants in the market.

It’s something that I’ve spent a lot of time trying to understand by trying to quantify and explain it. In the time since I started studying this, I’ve moved from curiosity to a full understanding of exactly why these biases occur and how they repeat. It’s been part of my contiuined quest to get a much deeper understand of the market.

This was one of those lightbulb moments for me as I realised that my start point of pursuing just a very good quantative approach to the market was missing a trick. This shifted my focus to understanding the way the market behaved given certain information. So if you knew what was likely, you could predict what was likely to happen and how people would react to it.

One of the revealing parts of the report was that even back in 2003 people who backed and laid, traders. Accounted for just under half the market by volume. People often ask how many traders there are in the market and what volume they account for. Well back in 2003 it was 50% of the entire market.

The intervening years

It’s interesting to see what is happening in the intervening years in this particular race. There are always subtle modifications in the way that the market is created, such as the price of the favourite or the value of the race. But it is possible to rebase all of these factors to try and come up with a line of what happened over the intervening years. The picture isn’t a particularly pretty one, ignoring some highlights, the market as a whole has not really grown. If you take into account inflation the picture looks even poorer.

You could come up with reasons why this could be the case. But each year I come back and gather extensive data on this race to see how it compares with prior years and how it’s changed. I then spend a day the follow week digging through all the data to see if the biases and chracteristics are still there. So I always look forward to the race, just for that reason.

When I look at the data next week I reckon, apart from the overall volume, I’ll probably find the same underlying characteristics. But if I do find something else, it will be a useful marker for how the market has changed.

At it’s core there are some core fundamentals to the market. How it’s priced, how it moves but, as I found out, what people will do about that. Always bear that in mind when you are trading.

The post How much do traders match in a horse race? appeared first on Betfair trading blog | Expert advice from Professional Betfair trade.